Thursday, January 3rd,
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message by Kris Jackson
let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it" (Luke 13:
God is a fruit inspector. We, on the other
hand, are to be fruit bearers. My friend, Chaplain of Bourbon Street, Bob
Harrington says, "Believers should be known by the fruit they bear not the
fertilizer they spread!" The "fig tree" here (vs 7) represents Israel prophetically but also the individual believer practically. The tree was "planted",
which assumes a gardener's care. It had sucked up valuable sun, rain, plant
food and soil so in turn was expected to produce a crop. But the vinedresser
"sought fruit thereon, and found none". On a similar occasion of hunger, Jesus
visited a fig tree and found "nothing but leaves" (Mark 11:13). Leaves portray
religious fluff, profession without possession.
Angered, the orchard owner cried, "Cut it down". So cries the Law in
righteousness as well as the "accuser of the brethren" in revenge.
Even you and I lose patience with people at times and wish someone would get
fired or the fig tree uprooted. "Why cumbereth it the ground?" Many people are
takers, not givers, spiritual freeloaders, depleting the soil of rich
nutrients, never giving back a dime. The ax was drawn but one Who loved the
tree lunged between it and the sharpened blade mediating on its behalf. "Let it
alone this year also", pleaded Christ the Intercessor. "Let me dig about it,
and dung it". Not very good grammar, but great grace. The work of the
husbandman is twofold, digging and dunging, manicuring and manuring. "Digging"
is the sharp, cutting, chiseling work the Spirit does in our lives while
"dunging" is His enriching, grace-applying, nutrient-fortifying applications.
Both operations of the Spirit work together, the times He handles us with
gentleness (dunging) in conjunction with the times He seems to mess with our
personal root system (digging). Be thankful for both.
We should treat others with the same patience.
In fact one of the "fruit of the Spirit" is long-suffering (Galatians 5:22).
That fruit in us begets fruit in others. Marriage relationships need digged and
dunged. That sounds sick, doesn't it? But you can understand the
metaphor. I'm not talking about pitching manure into the fan but gently working
it into the soil. In parenting you have to put up with a lot of...well, dung. But
it is all part of the growth process. Be careful with the roots. Add lots of
water and love but never soak the plant to excess. You can buy Miracle-Gro if
you don't wish to store your own compost. Applying Miracle-Gro assumes that you
are expecting a miracle to happen. Christ deals with us in that confidence.
"Let it alone, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bears fruit,
well..." He expects results, but is not overly harsh with slow bloomers. Our part
is to be open to His shovel and pruning shears and that wheelbarrow full of
smelly compost. No one said growing as a Christian was going to be easy or
always a sweet-smelling experience. But the rich figs shaken from the branches
at harvest will make all the unpleasantness worth it all.